These scenes provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its "preeminent source"
on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation
, among other harsh interrogation techniques.
"KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete," according to newly unclassified portions of a 2004 report by the CIA's then-inspector general released Monday by the Justice Department
The evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken
in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general's report and other documents released this week indicate.
"Certain of the techniques seemed to have little effect, whereas waterboarding and sleep deprivation were the two most powerful techniques and elicited a lot of information
," [CIA Inspector General John Helgerson] said in an interview. Cross-referencing material from different detainees, and leveraging information from one to extract more detail from another, the CIA and FBI went on to round up operatives
both in the United States and abroad.
"Detainees in mid-2003 helped us build a list of 70 individuals -- many of whom we had never heard of before
-- that al-Qaeda deemed suitable for Western operations," according to the CIA summary. Mohammed was an unparalleled source
in deciphering al-Qaeda's strategic doctrine, key operatives and likely targets, the summary said, including describing in "considerable detail the traits and profiles" that al-Qaeda sought in Western operatives and how the terrorist organization might conduct surveillance in the United States.